Clear Goals for the Initiative Must Be Set That Link to the Strategic Needs

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A line of sight must be drawn from the coaching initiative to the

strategic needs of the business. Realistic and achievable goals for

coaching are set that have a direct bearing on addressing these strategic

needs. In all likelihood, coaching will be only a part of the

solution, but without drawing this line of sight, the potential

contribution of coaching becomes opaque. Drawing this link to the

strategic needs also provides a firm foundation later on for isolating

the effects coaching has on the business from other potential influencing

factors.

Goals for coaching that are not linked to the business will have

little value as time wears on. Month by month, the investment in

coaching builds and the gap between the investment and the

expected payoff widens. The chorus of senior leaders questioning

the value of coaching gets louder. In the next chapter, we see how

linking coaching goals to the business opens new doors to increase

the traction of coaching in the organization. A business case formally

establishes the value of coaching. Decisions about initiative

scope and timing can be better made. It becomes clearer how to best

integrate coaching with other HR and business initiatives to maximize

the benefit of all initiatives.

Goals that are developed for a coaching initiative must go beyond

simply aiming for better learning or leaders having increased insight.

From a business perspective, learning and insight are not enough.

Applying what is learned and taking action on insights is required

in order for the business to benefit. Sights can be set even higher for

coaching. Goals can specify business impact areas such as increased

productivity or reduced costs. A goal can be set for having coaching

provide a satisfactory ROI. Chapter 12 explores how a company

articulated a clear strategic need: penetrating the consumer electronics

market for point-of-sale optical scanners. Objectives for

coaching were set that had a direct bearing on this strategic need.

Monetary benefits were documented and the ROI calculated. This

chapter explores the mechanics of evaluation and how to build

credibility for the analysis.

The Outcomes of the Coaching Initiative Must Be Evaluated to

Determine if the Initiative Delivered on Its Value Promise

Hope springs eternal. Without an evaluation architecture in place,

it is difficult to know whether coaching delivered on its value

promise. Leaders may hope that it did deliver value, but it is difficult

to bank on hope alone. Evaluation objectives are developed that

flow from the initiative goals. In this way, the line of sight is extended

from the overall strategic goals of the business to the evaluation

objectives of coaching. The evaluation of coaching then has a direct

bearing on achieving business results. Chapter 12 provides an

example of how this can be done in a way that shows monetary as

well as intangible benefits. ROI was the icing on the cake.

An ROI evaluation has benefits in and of itself: there is an ROI to

ROI. This message is brought home in Chapter 11 as the evaluation

strategy was developed for a company. The soundness of this strategy

sets up the payoff punch for gaining results illustrated in

Chapter 12. Evaluation is not an after-market accessory. Rather, evaluation

is most effective when it is built into the fabric of the initiative.

Interim evaluations are taken as the coaching progresses to nip

problems in the bud. Corrective actions can be taken that will

increase the overall value of the coaching initiative.Managers of the

initiative watch program expenses like a hawk, knowing that a final

accounting will be made and that costs will be compared to the

return. Consequently, managers will continue to drive down costs,

which will ultimately increase the ROI.

Not everyone is looking for monetary benefits or an ROI from

coaching. In fact, this is usually the case. Just knowing that leaders

successfully applied what they gained from coaching to their work

responsibilities may be sufficient. Chapter 13 explores how coaching

may be evaluated in terms of application, rather than by monetary

terms. The case study shows how to best plan for this type of

evaluation and the major decision areas that must be addressed

along the way.